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Submission + - Ethics in, ethics out -- promoting ethical software development platforms (fsf.org) 1

Atticus Rex writes: The Free Software Foundation just reached a milestone in our project to empower users of code hosting sites like Github and Sourceforge by ranking them on ethical criteria. The GNU Project (a team of volunteer experts working with the FSF) released evaluations of Github, SourceForge, Savannah and Gitlab per the criteria.

Ethical code hosting is important not just for developers, but for users of free software, too. Repositories usually provide Web sites with downloadable executable programs
compiled from the code they host, and are thus a popular way for users to get
up-to-date copies of free software. The sites also host issue trackers that let users submit
bug reports and provide feedback to developers.

Submission + - Intl. Day Against DRM: 16 organizations, 10+ global events

Atticus Rex writes: Today is the tenth anniversary International Day Against DRM, and we're celebrating a decade of resistance against Digital Restrictions Management. DRM is the software that comes bolted to your digital media and devices and tries to police your behavior. The major media companies are its masters, and they justify it as a necessary evil to prevent filesharing, calling it Digital Rights Management. But it does more than that, and worse than that. Giving its unaccountable owners power over our cars, medical devices, phones, computers, and more, it opens a deep crack in our digital rights and freedoms. That crack will only get wider and more dangerous as our societies continue to interweave with technology.

Join us on dayagainstdrm.org to take action and join the conversation.

Submission + - Know your history -- Ten years of Intl. Day Against DRM

Atticus Rex writes: Today is the tenth anniversary International Day Against DRM, and the anti-DRM outfit Defective by Design released a timeline of the last decade's anti-DRM history. They write that their goal is to release another timeline a decade from now that ends with an entry like:

2026: 20 years after the first International Day Against DRM, the last DRM-spewing company closes its doors. Digital Restrictions Management is abolished. Everyone using a computer has control over what it does and what it knows about them. Fields like security research and artistic remixing experience a new renaissance. People once again share and remix the world's media without technological barricades.

But... how do we get from here to there? Defective by Design is asking supporters to help it imagine a path to victory by crowdsourcing their speculative timeline entries.

Submission + - Know your history — the first ten years of the International Day Against D (defectivebydesign.org)

Atticus Rex writes: Today is the tenth anniversary International Day Against DRM, and the anti-DRM outfit Defective by Design released a timeline of the last decade's anti-DRM history. They write that their goal is to release another timeline a decade from now that ends with an entry like:

2026: 20 years after the first International Day Against DRM, the last DRM-spewing company closes its doors. Digital Restrictions Management is abolished. Everyone using a computer has control over what it does and what it knows about them. Fields like security research and artistic remixing experience a new renaissance. People once again share and remix the world's media without technological barricades.

But... how do we get from here to there? Defective by Design is asking supporters to help it imagine a path to victory by crowdsourcing their speculative timeline entries.

Submission + - How to block the NSA from your friends list (slate.com)

Atticus Rex writes: The fact that our social networking services are so centralized is a big part of why they fall so easily to government surveillance. It only takes a handful of amoral Zuckerbergs to hand over hundreds of millions of people's data to PRISM.

That's why this Slate article makes the case for a mass migration to decentralized, free software social networks, which are much more robust to spying and interference. On top of that, these systems respect your freedom as a software user (or developer), and they're less likely to pepper you with obnoxious advertisements.

Submission + - We should be able to browse the Web without running nonfree software. (fsf.org) 1

Atticus Rex writes: Even if you run a free browser, you're almost certainly loading tons of proprietary JavaScript as you traverse the Web. Though your browser downloads and runs it without alerting you, it's harmful in the same way as any other nonfree software; it prevents people from understanding, modifying and building on the programs they are running, and this results in software that is designed to control users rather than serve the interests of them and their communities.

Today the FSF kicked off a campaign to put pressure on webmasters to make their sites work without requiring nonfree JavaScript. The first target is Regulations.gov, a site the US government uses to take public comments on proposed regulations. Right now, the site requires nonfree JavaScript, requiring citizens to sacrifice their freedom as users to take part in their democracy.

Submission + - RMS urges W3C to reject DRM in HTML5 on principle (fsf.org)

gnujoshua writes: In a new article, GNU Project founder, Richard M. Stallman speaks out against the proposal to include hooks for DRM in HTML5. While others have been making similar arguments, RMS strikes home the point that while companies can still push Web DRM themselves, the stance taken by the W3C is still — both practically and politically — vitally important:

[...] the W3C cannot prevent companies from grafting DRM onto HTML. They do this through nonfree plug-ins such as Flash, and with nonfree Javascript code, thus showing that we need control over the Javascript code we run and over the C code we run. However, where the W3C stands is tremendously important for the battle to eliminate DRM. On a practical level, standardizing DRM would make it more convenient, in a very shallow sense. This could influence people who think only of short-term convenience to think of DRM as acceptable, which could in turn encourage more sites to use DRM. On the political level, making room for DRM in the specifications of the World Wide Web would constitute an endorsement in principle of DRM by the W3C. Standardization by the W3C could facilitate DRM that is harder for users to break than DRM implemented in Javascript code. If the DRM is implemented in the operating system, this could result in distribution of works that can't be played at all on a free operating system such as GNU/Linux.


Politics

Submission + - 26 arrested at office of Keystone XL pipeline builder, singing funeral dirge (climate-connections.org)

Atticus Rex writes: The Keystone XL pipeline would tap the Alberta tar sands, an exceptionally dirty oil source that contains more carbon than has been released into the atmosphere in all of human history. A broad coalition of scientists and environmental groups agree this must not happen, but the Obama administration has allowed the corrupt approval process to continue, with environmental impact statements commissioned and paid for by the pipeline company, Transcanada.

Taking matters into their own hands, 100 (mostly) young activists held a "funeral for their futures" today at the Transcanada office in Westborough, MA. Singing a funeral dirge at the top of their lungs, they demanded that Obama and Kerry reject the pipeline to reign in climate change and make a livable future possible for themselves and their comrades in communities already ravaged by climate change. 26 activists were arrested when they handcuffed to each other and refused to leave. Throughout the entire action and arrest, they did not stop singing.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Gnu strikes again: pictures of the FSF surprising Boston Microsoft store (fsf.org)

Atticus Rex writes: "FSF activists visited a Boston Microsoft store during its "Tech for Tots" session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software's buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. The action was part of the FSF's campaign at http://www.fsf.org/windows8. Their action drew smiles from mall-goers who had expected to see costumed people giving gifts, but not quite like this."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Rare photos: gnu crashing a Windows 8 launch event (fsf.org)

Atticus Rex writes: "Reporters and security guards at the event weren't sure how to react when they were greeted by a real, live gnu. The gnu — which, on closer inspection, was an activist in a gnu suit — had come for some early trick-or-treating. But instead of candy, she had free software for the eager journalists. The gnu and the Free Software Foundation campaigns team handed out dozens of copies of Trisquel, a fully free GNU/Linux distribution, along with press releases and stickers. Once they got over their confusion, the reporters were happy to see us and hear our message — that Windows 8 is a downgrade, not an upgrade, because it steals users' freedom, security and privacy."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - The FSF Adapts the Kickstarter Approach to Fund-raising 3

ChronoEngineer writes: Recently the Free Software foundation launched a new fund-raising system starting with the GNU Mediagoblin project. Rewards from its new tiered donation reward system include physical objects such as a 3d print of the project's mascot as well as digital ones (Rewards List). This gives free software projects an alternative crowd-funding source where all of their contributions go to advancing free software since the administrative cut taken from the earnings goes to the Free Software Foundation. Chris Webber, of GNU Mediagoblin, mentions this as one of the reasons he chose the FSF over Kickstarter for his project.

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